Germán Rodriguez, ULMA Construction expatriate in Brazil — ULMA Begira

Ulma Construction

Germán Rodriguez, ULMA Construction expatriate in Brazil

“Last year, the workload at ULMA Construction waned considerably, off-hand I discovered that in my Business they were looking for people available for moving to Brazil to work, I took courage and asked in HR, they told me about the profiles that were required and I saw that mine was among them. At home I talked about the idea of going to work abroad and after evaluating the situation that was arising here; we saw the opportunity was there."
Germán Rodriguez, ULMA Construction expatriate in Brazil
Mar 31, 2014

“After finding out that in ULMA Construction they were looking for people to go to Brazil to work, I asked HR for m ore information about the position of Supervisor of Logistics at Belo Horizonte and the conditions of the same and I accepted the challenge. The construction of an 8,000 square meter deposit is being finalised to accompany the growth of the affiliate up to now and we foresee having a future in the state of Minas Gerais.

On the 2nd of March last year I arrived at the Guarulhos Airport, São Paulo, after a trip of nearly 12 hours at night, nearly without sleeping and having left at home a situation that even though expected was desolate, my brother-in-law passed away the same day I took the plane towards Brazil.

The welcome by the people was exceptional, I felt very well received, in addition, the Brazilians are generally very happy people and that happiness is very contagious

I came alone at first, I wanted to know the style of life in Brazil, very different in all aspects to ours, and after a few months Begoña came over, and she is still getting acclimatised. We have two daughters, but they are old enough to stay at home, and in addition, they have their own lives organised.

Once in Sao Paulo the first one asks is what the hell am I doing here, one month of Portuguese classes, without knowing Brazilian culture, of which you can only imagine that all is samba and little work, and seeing along the way the hotel where you have stayed and the great differences in the urban and human landscape to which over there we are not accustomed and I hope we never have to get accustomed to.

Sao Paulo is a cosmopolitan city, large, with traffic jams that you try to avoid (although it is practically impossible to not fall into one), and with quite a high “perception of insecurity", something that here in Belo Horizonte is not fully appreciated.

I started work on the 4th of March in the affiliate of Sao Paulo with Belen and my Brazilian brother Damasceno, knowing the processes and work procedures they have implemented here both in the patio as in the Administration.

The welcome by the people was exceptional, I felt very well received, in addition, the Brazilians are generally very happy people and that happiness is very contagious. That was in Sao Paulo, in Belo Horizonte where I am since mid-January of this year; I can say that I had an exceptional welcome.

In the evenings and at weekends of March I took the time to get to know Sao Paulo a little better by the hand of Belen Ibañez who had arrived nearly half a year earlier, then two more colleagues arrived, Mikel González and Luis Parrilla, that being accommodated so near, after work we share leisure and hobbies, for example, cooking, which in turn is a day-to-day necessity.

Little by little we got to know more people, expatriates from different sectors and companies, Monica Casado of ULMA Architectural Solutions, Javier Alonso of LKS, etc. We formed a very nice group in which we shared moments and experiences at the weekends and some bank holidays.

We visited the surroundings of Barueri, where our hotel is located, and we began to get used to the local way of life and customs, although something I cannot get used is the schedule. At 11.30 in the morning the employees are already going out for lunch, the restaurants are generally buffet style, everything is eaten on the same plate and you pay for what you have put on it, they weigh and you pay for the weight of the food, not including drinks. Well, that is what happens outside of Sao Paulo, because in the city you have an enormous gastronomic variety, the only thing missing is our fish.

I have been here for one year and I can assure you that the experience is highly awarding, both professionally and personally, with its obvious lacking, but it is well worth the effort of leaving "all behind" at home and taking the adventure."